A $99 AirPods Lite is going to be real in 2024

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Apple is revolutionizing its AirPods lineup this year. One of the most extreme ideas is the introduction of a new budget-friendly AirPods Lite, TWS Earphones priced under $100. The rumored budget segment AirPods, possibly called “AirPods Lite,” could find greater success in markets like India, where affordability is key. To be competitive, they would likely need to be priced below Rs 10,000.

Many iPhone users prefer to buy True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds from brands other than Apple that cost up to $59(Rs 5,000). If Apple is working on a Lite model in this price range or even closer to $59(Rs 5,000) it could attract a significant number of customers.

The Lite version will likely be launched in the latter half of the year 2024 and will be more affordable compared to current AirPods models. This move comes as demand for existing AirPods is expected to decrease in 2024. The information was reportedly shared with investors by analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International.

According to the report, analyst Jeff Pu suggests that AirPods production will see a boost later in 2024, driven by the launch of a low-cost model. Pu’s report discusses the broader impact of AirPods production on Apple’s overall supply chain and its partners. He predicts that total AirPods volume will decrease by 4% year-over-year in 2024 to 55 million units due to “muted demand for existing models.” Pu does not provide specific details about the features or specifications of these low-cost AirPods, which he refers to as “AirPods Lite.”

The term “AirPods Lite” has been informally used by early rumor sources. However, Apple hasn’t made an official announcement regarding its TWS product lineup for 2024. However, speculation about its production has been ongoing for over a year. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted its potential arrival as early as January 2023, suggesting an entry price point of $99(Rs 8,100 approx).

A research note from Haitong International Securities revealed that Foxconn is expected to be one of the suppliers for these lower-cost AirPods. Production is reportedly slated to take place at one of Foxconn’s factories in India in the fourth quarter of 2024.

AirPods Lite Specs (speculations)

With a lower price launch of AirPods Lite, Apple might likely exclude popular features like Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and stem controls for playback and volume. The sound drivers on the AirPods Lite model could also be more diminutive and of inferior quality in comparison to the standard AirPods Pro versions.

Apple could also remove support for wireless charging, requiring users to charge the device using the built-in USB-C charging port in wired mode, similar to many affordable earbuds on the market.

In addition to the budget-friendly AirPods Lite launch, Apple is also working on a 2nd generation of its AirPods Max headphones, which were first released in December 2020. The AirPods Lite is expected to launch alongside the new AirPods 4 and the AirPods Pro 4th gen model. These new developments indicate that Apple is looking to expand and refresh its AirPods lineup to cater to a wider segment of consumers.

These new AirPods offerings should help Apple attract more customers to upgrade or purchase earbuds for the first time, which is crucial for the growth of this segment for Apple and provides consumers with more choices in the market. There are also hopes that the iOS 18 update will bring some AI tweaks to the AirPods, but it remains to be seen if the upgrade will be available for older models or all of them, including the Lite version.

Sushant Gupta
Sushant Gupta
More than just Gadgets and Gaming enthusiast, a die-hard techy, interested in anything tech be it PCs, gaming consoles, gadgets, sports, just pop it up. Bottom line is I am a technology purist at heart

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